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Kilmalkedar Church

  • Address
    Kilmalkedar, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
    Always Open
  • What to see
    Ruins of a 12th century church and abbey


Kilmalkedar, an ancient and prominent abbey in the early Middle Ages, occupied a key position on the pilgrimage route known as Cosán na Naomh (the Way of the Saints), which stretched up to Mount Brandon. Originally a monastery similar to nearby An Riasc, it became one of the most prosperous parishes in the diocese of Kerry (then the diocese of Ardfert) during the Middle Ages. Its 12th-century Romanesque church, with fine carvings on the lintel and chancel arch, served as a parish church from the 13th to the 16th centuries.

The 6th century alphabet stone with the inscription “dni” (Latin domini, meaning “Lord”) stands out within the enclosure. In addition, the cemetery contains stone monuments, including a 5th or 6th century Ogam stone with the inscription MAILE INBIR MACI BROCANN. The site also features an ancient sundial, one of nine in Ireland, indicating the prosperity of the monastery in the 8th or 9th century. This ensemble, together with the large Latin cross and other nearby structures, underlines the historical and spiritual richness of Kilmalkedar in the context of Cosán Na Naomh.

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